Friday, August 29, 2008

Team Building – The Outbound way

For 21 years you were told to be a star, all that mattered was how well you did in your studies, how much did you score in the match, how many prizes you won. You were awarded or punished only for ‘your’ performance. It was all about your individual results and scores, but one fine day when you get a job your world changes, all you hear is “You are not a team player, team work is important, you need to put your team first, team is always the winner” etc etc.

The corporate jargon of ‘team work’ questions your ability to work in a team, when so far you were questioned only about individual performance. This conflict also impacts performance, interpersonal skills, confidence levels, personal beliefs and it could lead to dissatisfaction at work or disillusion.

Teams do not get built instantly, it’s a consistent effort, but with businesses getting more challenging, companies find it difficult to give that extra time for its employees to settle down.

Classroom training, e-learning session, power point presentations may not be the most effective way to address the behavioral aspects of employees. They need to be in a stimulating environment that could give immediate take-away making learning more interesting, one such training concept is "
Experiential Learning / Outbound Training".

The outdoors environment not only gives a breather, but also help’s to open–up one’s mind, who does not want to play a few games and have fun while they learn?

Doing some activities, playing few games, rappelling down a rock face, a blind fold trek is not good enough to be called as a team building program. Team building program has to be designed to help the participants open-up at their own pace and peak their involvement and enthusiasm in the sessions. The choice of the activities, the timing of the sessions and de-briefing has to be in conjunction with the mood of the participants.

Effectiveness of a team building program depends on the design of the program:

- Have you understood the ‘Need’?
- What is the ‘Objective’?
- How will the program be ‘Assimilated’?
- What are the ‘Take-aways’?
- What is the ‘Feedback’?

It’s fascinating to see how people react and learn from purposefully created situations and tasks in an outdoor environment.

- BASECAMPer
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